Hi, Nancy and Cabe. If an engineer needs a special encoder format, or the programmable limit switches, this type of device will do the job. People realize something custom built, say for food processing, or built quickly will cost more because engineering costs get added onto the single item. A few dollars--or even a few hundred dollars--doesn't make much of a difference. Also, if equipment needs customization during manufacturing, or adjustments in the field, the programability of this type of rotary encoder makes it worth the cost.
Cabe; Let us know if you get a price quote. --Jon
Happy New Year. Although my regular column will still run in print and here, as of January 1st, I will no longer contribute items specifically for the Mechatronics Zone blog. I have had fun, though, and expect to comment now and then.
I think this is an awesome concept - seems to me it can really help an engineer in the design stage with the flexibility that it offers as a programmable device. To be able to create different encoder profiles to try as needed seems like a great design tool. I also really like the GUI - no need spending a lot of time to figure out how to program it. Even if it is cost prohibitive - it would still be an asset to a lab that uses encoders in their prototypes.
Cringing at the thought of writing "averaging" software for using a 2000 line encoder on a wacky project, this one looks like a dream come true. Setting encoder points that would work with each motor is exactly what I need.
Judging by the picture, I suspect that the price will outstrip the whole drive train it supports.
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Noting that we now live in an era of “confusion and ill-conceived stuff,” Ammunition design studio founder Robert Brunner, speaking at Gigaom Roadmap, said that by adding connectivity to everything and its mother, we aren't necessarily doing ourselves any favors, with many ‘things’ just fine in their unconnected state.
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